• United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

- Young Children and Technology<br/> - Early Years Peer Cultures and Social Experiences

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Personal profile

Personal Statement

Lorna Arnott is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education, specialising in Early Childhood Education. She is also the Director for Early Years within the School. 

The majority of her work focuses on children's exepriences before the age of five and therefore much of her research and teaching focuses on nursery provision.

Lorna completed her Ph.D at the School of Education, University of Stirling in 2011, focusing on young children’s social interactions around technologies in preschool.

Internationally, Lorna is the founder and co-convener for the European Early Childhood Educational Research Association (EECERA) Digital Childhoods, Multimodality and STEM Special Interest Group.  She is also Deputy Editor for the International Journal of Early Years Education and an Assistant Editor for the Journal of Early Childhood Research.

Lorna is the Editor of Digital Technology and Learning in the Early Years, SAGE and Co-Editor of Research Through Play: Participatory Methods in Early Childhood.

Research Interests

Research Interests

Lorna’s research explores young children’s play experiences, typically in relation to technology, creativity and social play.   Her work attempts to understand how the preschool environment and culture, the children and the artefacts contribute to children’s interactions and social experiences.  She is interested in a broader definition of technology which moves beyond the computer towards exploring technological toys, both digital and non-screen based.  Lorna has a further interest in exploring perceptions of technological artefacts in early years settings and how they can be integrated into the playroom.  

Secondly, Lorna's other research focus focuses on innovative methods for consulting with children in early childhood (typically under 6 years old).  She's interesting in voice work broadly with young children.

Research Collaborators

  • Dr. Ioanna Palaiologou (University College London, Institute of Education); Dr. Colette Gray (Stranmillis University College, Belfast); Dr. Sarika Kewalramani (Monash University) and Maria Dardanou (UiT The Arctic University of Norway), on Internet-Connected Toys in Early Childhood.
  • Dr Jane O'Connor (Birmingham City University); Alex Wade (Birmingham City University); Kelly Johnston (Macquarie University); Olga Fotakopoulou (Birmingham City University); Sarika Kewalramani (Monash University) and Shannon Ludgate (Birmingham City University) on YouTube Kids Project. 

 PhD Students

  • Zainab Attar (2017-present, part-time) Innovative methods with young children and literacy.
  • Loreain Martinez Lejarreta (2016-) Developing young children's critical thinking skills through teacher-children interactions in Early Childhood Education and Care settings.
  • Rehab Agzagee (2020- ) Designing a Cooperative Learning Strategy Development Program for the Kindergarten Teachers from teachers and children's perspective in Saudi Arabia.
  • Xunrou Shen (2021 - ) Froebel Education and Parenting Moments in Scotland. 

 Ed.D Students

  • Lynn Taylor (2020 - ) Practicalities of Play in Primary
  • Jay Helbert (2021 - ) Forest Schools in Primary


  • Charlotte Allan (2020 - ) Shared Experience: How attending Theatre for Early Years influences early attachment and bonding

Completed Students:

  •  Marion Burns (Completed) Early education with a specific focus on transitions.
  • Jennifer Zike (2017-, RAE Studentship) Using Pupil Views Templates to investigate the development of thinking across children at point of school entry in Scotland.




Teaching Interests

Lorna’s teaching generally covers:

  • Early Childhood Education, specifically focused on children's experiences and play. 
  • Qualitative research methods and those related to research with very young children. 

Lorna most often teaches on the BA Childhood Practice, Master's of Education Early Years Pedagogue, PGDE Nursery and the BA Education Nursery. 

Lorna is also interested in delivering research methods training, particularly in relation to qualitative approaches and contributes to both practice-based and academic research training. 

Lorna currently supervises PGR students at Masters, PhD and Ed.D level.


Academic / Professional qualifications


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Academic Studies (Academic Practice) - University of Strathclyde, Glasgow (2013)
  • PhD in Early Years Education. University of Stirling, Stirling (Full studentship) (2011)
  • Masters of Research in Education and Social Purpose (Fees Scholarship) University of Glasgow, Glasgow (2007)
  • BA (Hons) (1st Class) in Economics and Marketing, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow (2006). Award: Best Business Economics Student 2006.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 4 - Quality Education

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Exploring Young Children's Social Interactions in Technology-Rich Preschool Environments, University of Stirling

Award Date: 1 Jan 2011

Master of Research, Adolescent Romantic Relationships: Sources and Content of Knowledge, University of Glasgow

Award Date: 1 Jan 2007

Bachelor of Economics, The Effects of Physical Attributes on Student Performance at Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow Caledonian University

Award Date: 1 Jan 2006


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